My first introduction to tapping (aka The Emotional Freedom Technique or EFT) used acrophobia as the target. It was a great option given the high prevalence of height phobias. According to Wikipedia, acrophobia is an extreme or irrational fear of heights. Because we were in southern Florida, an amazingly flat area, it wasn’t possible to truck us of to some mountainous area and we only had five minutes to spend on the technique. Instead, the leader had us all stand up on some very rickety folding chairs. I’m not particularly acrophobic, but I am afraid of public embarrassment and falling down would surely trigger embarrassment. Many people in the audience did report a dramatic change in their height phobia within only a few minutes of tapping.
In my psychology training I have learned about many techniques for addressing phobias including exposure, desensitization, flooding, and medications. It is usually very difficult, if not impossible to talk someone out of their phobias. Exposure, desensitization, and flooding really do work. What most people don’t like about these techniques is that they take a fair amount of time and agony in order to see the results. One extremely positive feature of tapping is that the relief is often rapid and relatively painless in comparison to the more commonly used therapy techniques.
When using tapping to address acrophobia you can focus on the thoughts, feelings, or behaviors and make a huge impact. Many people report heart pounding, breathing difficulty, and sweating in reaction to their phobia. Tapping on the meridians while focused on any of these sensations will help to decrease the discomfort. It can be effective to tap while in the terrifying situation, imagining the situation from the safety of your own living room, or looking at a picture that triggers thoughts of the situation.
You can also tap on the automatic thoughts that happen while experiencing or visualizing the situation. These may be thoughts such as “I’m going to die”, “I’m going to fall”, or even “This fear is irrational.” No thought is too trivial or too ridiculous to tap on. Remember, phobias are irrational by definition.
Some people develop a fear of heights in response to a situation in which something bad happened to them or in response to something that happened to someone else that they learned about. This could be a childhood prank in which someone acted like they were going to push you off of a bridge or a news report of someone falling off of a roof. If these events remain stored in your energy system for any length of time a phobia can develop.
One of my favorite tapping techniques is continuous tapping while having a conversation with yourself, or someone else, about the things that have happened in the past. You can include a description of the event, the sounds, the smells, and the thoughts in your head in the conversation while you are tapping.
Does the thought of skiing on a tall mountain make you shudder? Does looking over the side of a tall staircase take your breath away? There is no need to suffer. Claim your emotional freedom and learn to tap. Click HERE for a video to get you started.